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Do You Feel Safe With Your Spouse?

Safety enables emotional risk. When we don't feel safe, the fullness of our personhood cannot be expressed.

Yes/No: I feel completely safe with my spouse and can take emotional risks with him/her.

Why Does This Issue Matter?

We can talk to anyone about anything if we feel emotionally safe with them. Yet no matter how close a person is to us if we question whether or not they will treat our hearts properly, we become somewhat closed off. When we feel completely safe with our spouse, we can take bold risks with one another knowing that the other person is going to treat us well. Without this feeling of safety, we will close our hearts to each other.

What If You Said Yes (4-5 on the assessment)?

Even a response of four on the assessment is worth considering why you hesitate on saying five. It doesn't mean there is great trouble, but it does mean there is room for improvement. This is one of the statements on the assessment that needs/deserves a quick response of five. Anything else is cause for attention. If you said five, be grateful and move forward. If you answered four, why? Has something happened to prevent complete safety? Do you personally struggle with giving anyone your total trust? What can be done in order to erase any doubt in your mind about how your spouse will treat your heart and then begin to open up to them fully?

What If You Said No (0-3 on the assessment)?

An answer of zero through three is a red flag. We must trust one another to have a healthy relationship. Anytime we don't feel safe, we begin to engage in behaviors to protect ourselves. These measures (while often justified) will always hinder the health of our relationship. An answer of zero through three is a sign that something needs to change. Work needs to be done. Call a counselor. Reach out to us at Do something which will empower the two of you to confront the issues at hand, make changes, and move forward. Without a change, this hesitation to take risks with one another will be detrimental to your marital health.

Related Resources:

Article: Love Is the Net

Book: Hold Me Tight by Sue Johnson

Book: Friends, Partners & Lovers by Kevin A. Thompson

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Bill Coffin
Bill Coffin

It's easier to be vulnerable if your spouse knows the skill of empathy. If your spouse tends to judge, critique, disagree, etc. rather than show understanding, then some clam up to protect themselves. In one PREPARE-ENRICH based book there is a finding that 65% of married individuals agree with the statement "my spouse often doesn't understand how I feel". I'm reminded of the book Why Am I Afraid to Tell You Who I Really Am by John Powell.

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